By Hank Berrien
On Monday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state’s colleges must not offer in-state tuition to immigrants covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The court unanimously upheld the Arizona Court of Appeals’ ruling stating that federal and state laws ban the Maricopa Community Colleges from giving such aid to DACA recipients. Over 2,000 DACA recipients are currently attending community college or a state university where they pay in-state rates.
Still, DACA recipients might not pay the full non-resident rate because in 2015 the Arizona Board of Regents approved a lower tuition rate for non-residents who are Arizona high school graduates. That rate is 50% higher than in-state tuition.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who had asserted that colleges and universities were violating state and federal laws by giving DACA recipients in-state tuition, said, “It’s about time someone held them accountable, and that’s my job. My role as AG is to make sure you’re following the law. What makes this country unique and great … is because the rule of law means something.”
The Arizona Board of Regents board chairman Bill Ridenour said the ruling will be implemented immediately.